« Art Photographers and the Camera Market | Main | The Sharp Edge »

Sunday, 29 January 2023


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I occasionally amuse my wife by putting on my CPAP setup at bedtime and saying "Hello, bird," in the voice of Sesame Street's Snuffleupagus.

Have you ever considered surgery to open the airway as a method of curing sleep apnea? My doctor prefers to have me use the CPAP machine, but I've been using it for about seven years now and I still dislike it. I don't like being unable to sleep normally and I really dislike suddenly waking up in the middle of the night if there's a power outage (which, to be fair, has only happened once so far). The whole thing about being dependent on technology really bugs me.

I've had this


for 30 years and never stopped using it most days of the week. I strongly recommend it for the ability to exercise one's upper and lower body while not beating up joints/feet/etc.

Mike, I wish we lived closer because I could teach you how to cook healthier food that tastes good with little effort. Plant-based, that is (cooking meat is just as easy in an air fryer, but I have no experience). Look at a basket-style air fryer (7-8 qt) for roasting veggies, baking, and quick meals. There are many recipes online, but start with fresh veggies cut up in a bowl, a splash of olive oil, and salt & pepper, and depending upon the vegetable, 10-15 min @ 400° does a lot of vegetables right. (Keep temp to 400° or less when using olive oil, and most air fryers only go up to 400° anyways.)

I love to keep things simple but delicious. An air fryer, instant pot, and cast iron fryer are all I use anymore for cooking. This morning I made Johnny Cake in my air fryer on bake for 16 minutes--a piece of cake. Later today, I will take a crate of tomatoes, use my Carey pressure cooker (a larger version of an instant pot), cut up the tomatoes, eggplant, and onions, add salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and a little sugar (gotta spoil myself sometimes) and let them cook for 15 minutes. I will freeze portions and use them as my sauce with Banza rotini (chickpea) pasta, my healthy alternative to spaghetti that tastes great!

As far as: "the CPAP getup is super sexy...to women who like their guys to look like alien elephants ..." I find it very unsexy when men allow themselves to fall apart. So if sleeping with a mask keeps someone healthy, that would not be unattractive IMO. My treadmill has been used for fast walking since I broke my leg in 2016. My leg was forever changed, and running was not something I could do with ease any longer. So I fast walk, which is not a big deal because the alternative would have been way worse.

Get healthy and take a few cooking tips from those that ARE doing it. Best to you!

Last week Fox sports streamed the 49er game and I believe todays Eagle/49er game will be streamed (free). I don't know if CBS will be streaming the AFC game free for all.

Glad to hear you're feeling better. I wish there was a medication or some type of therapy that could make unhealthy foods (the ones I love) taste terrible.

Glad you're feeling better. I can't recommend the Peleton bike enough. They are amazing. The classes really make a difference. Matt Wilpers is brilliant.

I can bore you with my own experience of sleep apnoea.

I was diagnosed with central sleep apnoea back in about 2009. At around the same time I was formally diagnosed with AFIB, although I'd noticed it decades before, but it was episodic and just a mild discomfort. In 2009 I was living in Switzerland, and there are quite a few specialist there who are rather interested in both of these things and their interaction. Because of how the Swiss health care system works I had access to a lot of opinion. I was impressed by how much they were prepared to say "we think these are related, but it's all very complicated and we can't be 100% sure what really is going on in the human body".

Central sleep apnoea is distinct from obstructive sleep apnoea. In the latter it is usually something like obesity. In the former, it is your brain, which, for reasons best know to itself, tells you to stop breathing in your sleep. Then a while later it starts shaking you by the shoulder shouting "wake up, wake up. You're not breathing.

So, the vagaries of the human body, which we are sometimes told symbolises the epitome of perfection.

On which I'm reminded of a girlfriend, who was fond of pointing out to creationists that the female reproductive system was a complete refutation of intelligent design

I can’t imagine that a stationary bike is very interesting. Maybe just get a real bike. If you are cycling for fitness, any old bike will do.

Good to hear the CPAP is working for you. On a photo trip to Yukon I once shared a hotel room with a man that used a CPAP machine. It gave me nightmares because it sounded exactly like Darth Vader. I mean exactly. Then it got worse when he took it off to go outside for a smoke. Yes. I now cheerfully pay extra to have a room to myself on trips.

Glad to see you are getting on top of your health again.

Re any exercise, could I please encourage you to build up to it gradually. Don’t dive in and go hard from the outset - you’ll only cause injury, get dispirited with the idea of exercise and drop it again. Your exercise bike will become an expensive storage rack / dust gatherer.

It’s all about building up you body’s ability to withstand and recover from exertion. Stay within that limit and you’ll be fine. But go beyond that limit at your peril. And that level is all relative to level of fitness. I used to be really fit, run 1/2 marathons and lots of other activities. That stopped for several years. I wanted to get back into jogging and decided to go for a ‘steady little’ 5km (~3 miles) jog. I used to do them twice a day for 4 days a week (jog to/from work) because my body could easily recover from that level of exertion, so I thought I could start there.

I couldn’t finish it. My legs really hurt for days afterwards - not the good pain. Basically, I had overtrained for my current level of fitness (i.e. none). I had to go back to square 1 - walk-jog-walk, for less distance and less duration. I had to gradually build up the jogging, duration and distance. It was frustrating as hell, and I’ve had to go back to walk-jog-walk a couple of times, including at my physiotherapists instruction, for various reasons. But it is far better than the alternative.

I think a CPAP would let me sleep with my head under the covers, providing fresh air to breathe (I hate breathing stale air).

Exercise, though, has never made me feel energized. It has always made me feel tired and like not doing anything for a while. Always, long as I can remember, including when I was 80 pounds lighter in college and traveling 3-5 miles every single day by bike or on foot.

Rather than a regular stationary bike, you may want to consider a ‘Schwann Airdyne’….either AD7 (best) or AD6. Being able to use legs AND arms, plus the variable resistance based to the speed should improve your enjoyment and results.

When you mask up think of yourself as the TOP gun. Hubba Bubba indeed

Mike, if you have access to a gym, try one of the rowing machines,it is very good work out. Also weight lifting is in vogue again and is supposed to help with keeping the body in good shape. Try as many machines as you can before throwing down your money.

Mike, you wrote: “Cheese is the top entry on the bad-for-you list, the one thing you should avoid most.”

Here’s some information from The Cleveland Clinic:


Nothing seems clear-cut anymore.

Great news that you've experienced such a significant and speedy improvement! As a lifelong vegetarian and three year vegan I look forward to hearing more about your diet. Another key reason to eat plants - apart from ethics - is simple planetary survival re the awful waste of resources needed to produce meat.

When you refer to alien elephant in a David Lynch movie, I hope you're not referring to Joseph Merrick? I live two minutes walk from where he was put on show in a shop window and three minutes from the hospital where he was taken and cared for. There's a little park being built outside our block of flats and we're hoping to get a statue of him erected. We also hope it will distract from the awful Jack the Ripper tours that congregate round here (we live on the street where his first victim was found).

This might be worth investigating for your sleep apnea Mike. As serendipity would have it, this article appeared in The Guardian newspaper a few days ago.

On your exercise bike search.
Yard Sales, anyone?
Over the past few years have picked up 14 exercise machines at yard sales, Two were purchased, the rest "please take it". Three were over $1K new. Most expensive I paid $15.00 for was a top quality elipiical trainer. The guy getting rid of it said "was good to hang clothes on".
So many of them bought with good intentions and used so little, finally out the door for good.
Have kept two of them. All the others gave away to folks who said they would use them.

I have a little brother so no idea how that would impact me if he were to die before me but I can imagine that being a significant event. I do know that your post from about three years ago made a positive impact on me - the one about watching Forks Over Knives and introducing the WFPB diet that I have been on since then. I now think of cheese as a food made for unhealthy Kings from way back and some appeal amongst the masses to "eat like a King" (or like a "Burger King"), a bit too often, has led us to where we are today.

My mother-in-law has seen a huge benefit from wearing a sleep apnea mask since October 2022. She used to have to start napping at 10 am, took two naps a day, and was up every two hours every night. Now she only wakes up once in the night, her blood sugar has gone down, and says it is "nothing but good and I wouldn't give it up for anything.". She doesn't nap at all during the day and no longer feels like she is "dragging". Keep up the good work taking care of yourself and thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

re a previous article of yours, i too have severe sleep apnea and need a cpap. its the main reason i bought a backup generator.

I'm late to the comments here, but my two cents on stationary bikes is don't succumb to the notion that any old machine will do. Get one that's comfortable and adjustable. I use a Lifecycle recumbant stationary that I purchased used from a gym that was upgrading their fleet. It's reasonably quiet, and I mitigate the boredom by watching movies while I pedal. I also use a device that attaches to the the rear wheel of my regular road bike, lifting it off the ground and making it stationary. It's noisier than the purpose-built stationary, but it better mimics actual road cycling, which is a plus for me because road cycling is my main form of exercise, and something I plan to enjoy as long as I'm able. You also might consider taking a spin class at a gym that has a selection of different types of machines. Good luck with this!

Mike, this is in regards to your update about joining a gym... good! Now, think of this as a journey, not a destination.

I a previous post, you mentioned visiting a gym with a female friend and over doing a workout. This is a common thing. Kill your ego and do a slow immersion. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run. You are not a teen and your recovery can't be the same as a youngster, so measure things against your own self and not the 30-something person next to you with a decade of training behind them.

I'm your age and have maintained my fitness level such that I can still pass my military fitness test. I'm a martial arts and kettlebell instructor, but if I am forced to take time off (had surgery last year), I start easy and slow to get back. You can't dive in, you need to wade in.

Start slow, let your body adjust and good luck.

You gotta move. My preferred exercise is a bicycle. A real bicycle. Doesn't matter what you choose, just move. I don't do it to live longer, I do it to improve the quality of my life.

I'm with Richard, in that I find a real bike, and riding outside, more appealing. Understand that isn't quite compatible with current weather conditions in western NY. But, when the weather cooporates, you have excellent outdoor options.

They do have these cool gadgets, called 'stationary trainers' for quickly converting your road going bicycle into an indoor trainer. Even have 'smart' versions, where you can ride against a video (sound OK), and/or online cohort (no interest in exercise as a social activity). The hardware adjusts resistance based on visuals and program. Take a gander over at REI.com. No allegiance, they just have several models available for anonomous investigation with user reviews.

I hate excercise. I really do. For a while I was doing about 5 km of power walk and it was boring. Now I’m cycling and I love it. I have a normal bike, with a small bag where I can carry my camera and a book. I normally do between 30 and 35 km, not trying to break any records. I go out in my shorts and Teva sandals. When I told my doctor about it she was happy and her only recommendation was to get myself the best helmet I could buy.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007